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Objectives—To determine the sensitivity of bacteriologic culture of pooled fecal samples in detecting Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, compared with bacteriologic culture of individual fecal samples in dairy cattle herds.

Study Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—24 dairy cattle herds.

Procedure—Individual and pooled fecal samples were submitted for bacteriologic culture, and results were compared between these groups.

Results—Ninety-four and 88% of pooled fecal samples that contained feces from at least 1 animal with high (mean, ≥ 50 colonies/tube) and moderate (mean, 10 to 49 colonies/tube) concentrations of M paratuberculosis, respectively, were identified by use of bacteriologic culture of pooled fecal samples. Prevalences of paratuberculosis determined by bacteriologic culture of pooled and individual fecal samples were highly correlated.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bacteriologic culture of pooled fecal samples provided a valid and cost-effective method for the detection of M paratuberculosis infection in dairy cattle herds and can be used to estimate prevalence of infection within a herd. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1022–1025)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine efficacy and safety of a commercial modified-live canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccine used for prophylaxis in domestic ferrets.

Animals—Sixteen 16-week-old neutered male ferrets.

Procedures— Equal groups of ferrets were inoculated subcutaneously at 16 and 20 weeks of age with saline (0.9% NaCl) solution or a vaccine derived from the Onderstepoort CDV strain and attenuated in a primate cell line. Live virulent CDV was administered to all ferrets intranasally and orally 3 weeks after the second inoculation. Clinical signs and body weights were monitored regularly during the study. Blood samples for serologic examination were drawn prior to each inoculation, before challenge exposure, and 10, 15, and 21 days after exposure. Blood samples for reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were obtained 5 days after the first vaccination, and 5, 10, 15, and 21 days after challenge exposure.

Results—After challenge exposure, control ferrets had significantly more clinical signs and weight loss, compared with vaccinates. All vaccinated ferrets survived, whereas all control ferrets died. The RT-PCR assay was successful in detecting CDV in blood and fresh or formalin-fixed tissues from infected ferrets.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings suggest that the vaccine when given SC to domestic ferrets as directed is safe and protective against challenge exposure with virulent CDV. The RT-PCR assay may simplify detection of CDV in fresh and fixed tissues. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:736–740)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether flies can acquire porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and disperse the virus throughout a designated area.

Animals—60 four-month-old pigs.

Procedure—On day 0, 28 of 60 pigs were inoculated with PRRSV MN 30-100 (index variant). On the same day, 100,000 pupae of ochre-eyed houseflies and 100,000 pupae of red-eyed (wild-type) houseflies were placed in the swine facility for a release-recapture study. Flies were recaptured at 2 locations within the swine facility, 6 locations immediately outside the facility, and 30 locations 0.4, 0.8, 1.3, 1.7, 1.9, and 2.3 km from the facility. Traps were emptied on days 2, 7, 8, 10, and 14. Samples derived from flies were tested by use of a polymerase chain reaction assay, virus DNA was sequenced, and viruses were tested for infectivity by means of a swine bioassay.

Results—PRRSV RNA homologous to the index PRRSV was detected in trapped flies collected inside and immediately outside the facility and from 9 of 48 samples collected at 0.4 km, 8 of 24 samples collected at 0.8 km, 5 of 24 samples collected at 1.3 km, and 3 of 84 samples collected at > 1.7 km from the facility. Two samples collected at 0.8 km contained genetically diverse variants of PRRSV. Swine bioassays revealed the virus in flies was infectious.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Flies appeared to become contaminated with PRRSV from infected pigs and transported the virus ≥ 1.7 km. Flyborn transmission may explain how PRRSV is seasonally transported between farms. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1284–1292)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the influences of animal age, bacterial coinfection, and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) isolate pathogenicity on virus concentration in pigs.

Animals—Twenty-one 2-month-old pigs and eighteen 6-month-old pigs.

Procedure—Pigs were grouped according to age and infected with mildly virulent or virulent isolates of PRRSV. The role of concurrent bacterial infection was assessed by infecting selected pigs with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae 21 days prior to inoculation with PRRSV. On alternating days, blood and swab specimens of nasal secretions and oropharyngeal secretions were collected. On day 21 after inoculation with PRRSV, selected tissues were harvested. Concentrations of PRRSV were determined by use of quantitative real-time PCR and expressed in units of TCID50 per milliliter (sera and swab specimens) or TCID50 per gram (tissue specimens).

Results—Concentrations of virus were higher in blood and tonsils of pigs infected with virulent PRRSV. Pigs infected with virulent PRRSV and M hyopneumoniae had significantly higher concentrations of viral RNA in lymphoid and tonsillar tissue. Coinfection with M hyopneumoniae resulted in a higher viral load in oropharyngeal swab specimens and blood samples, independent of virulence of the PRRSV isolate. Two-month-old pigs had significantly higher viral loads in lymph nodes, lungs, and tracheal swab specimens than did 6-month-old pigs, independent of virulence of the PRRSV isolate.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Multiple factors affect PRRSV concentration in pigs, including pathogenicity of the PRRSV isolate, age, and concurrent infection with M hyopneumoniae.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research